Colonial Coinage- Talk given by Steve Schor 5/24/12 @ Ft. Lauderdale Coin Club






                              EXHIBITION & TALK AT FT. LAUDERDALE COIN CLUB





1. Colonial Issues     


a.  Sommer Islands (Bermuda) “Hog Money” circa 1616-- 2p, 3p(rare), 6p, shilling


b. New England--NE/Roman numeral, 1652: 3p, 6p, shilling, my friend on Long Island has finest known 6 pence from the Roper collection in 1983 at ~ $ 25,000.- today worth $ 250, 000. 


c. Willow tree—Willow tree/date & denomination: Struck 1653-1660, 3p, 6p, shilling, pre-dated 1652


d. Oak tree—Oak tree/date & denomination: Struck 1660-1667, 3p, 6p, shilling, pre-dated 1652


e. Pine tree—Pine tree/date & denomination: Struck 1667-1682, 3p, 6p, shilling pre-dated 1652


f. Maryland, Lord Baltimore (Cecil Calvert) issues:1659, 1p, 4p, 6p, shilling


g. New Jersey, St. Patrick issues (brought from Dublin by Mark Newby):1663-1672: ¼ p, ½ p


h. American Plantation Tokens (struck by Richard Holt):(1668): 1/24 real


i. William Wood issue, Rosa Americana:1722, 1723,1724, 1733: ½ p, 1p, 2p


j. William Wood issue, Hibernia:1722, 1723, 1724: ¼ p, ½ p


k. Virginia ½ pennies:1773, “penny” 1773, “shilling” 1774


l. London, Carolina & New England Elephant tokens—1694


m.  New Yorke in America token (issued by Francis Lovelace), ND (1668-1683), brass, pewter


n. Gloucester (County, Virgina) token:1714, shilling (in brass)


o. Higley or Granby (Connecticut) copper:1737, 1739


p. Hibernia-Voce Populii coins (prepared by Roche of King St., Dublin:1760, ¼ p, ½ p


q. Pitt tokens (after William Pitt-prime minister of GB):1766 , ¼ p, ½ p


r. Rhode Island ship medals: (1778-79), in brass, copper, & pewter


s. John Chalmers (Annapolis Maryland)  issues: 1783, 3p, 6p, shilling


t. French New world issues:1670, 5 denier, 5 sols, 15 sols


u. French issues: 1717, 1720, 6 denier, 12 denier, 20 sols


v. French billon issues: 1709-1760, 15, 30 deniers, ½ sou marque, sou marque


w. French coinage: 1721-22, 9 deniers


x. French colonies coinage in general (mostly for Caribbean islands Martinique, Guadeloupe etc.): sou, circulated in Louisiana



2. Post Colonial issues: Pre-Federal Issues


aa.  Nova Constellatio coppers: US rev: 1783-1786


a. Confederatio coppers: 1785


b. Speculative patterns:  George III obv: Immune Columbia rev: 1785


                                        Immunis Columbia obv.: Nova Constellatio rev: 1786


                                        Washington obverse: Immune Columbia rev: 1786


                                         Several additional varieties omitted         


c. New Hampshire copper: 1776


d. Massachusetts pine tree copper: 1776


e. Massachusetts Indian copper: 1776


f. Massachusetts ½ Penny, 3 conjoined heads on obverse


g. Massachusetts authorized Issues: 1787,1788, ½ Cent, Cent


h. Connecticut coppers: 1785-1788, over 300 varieties


i. New York gold, Brasher doubloons: 1786, 1787


j. New York copper coinage:

   Non Vi Virtute Vici:1786

   Excelsior copper: 1787

   George Clinton: 1787

   Indian & New York Arms, Indian & Eagle on Globe, Indian & George III: 1787


k. Imitation British ½ pence ( Machin’s Mills etc,: 1786-1789). Once owned 1772 Machin’s Mills piece but sold it to Richard August of Rhode Island about 25 years ago.


l. Nova Eborac coppers: 1787


m. New Jersey coppers: 1786-1787 (over 120 varieties). A friend knows all varieties on sight.


n. Vermont coppers: 1785-1788…once owned backwards ’C’(in AUCTORI) variety.    Now residing in the Saraffian collection in Chicago via Mike Ringo who owned largest collection of counterfeit British coppers. He is the “New York” collection in book Forgotten Coins of North American Colonies by Bill Anton, and had 5000 pieces.  He passed away at age 48 and never finished cataloging and attributing the material.


o. Private tokens after confederation:


North American tokens: 1781

Bar coppers: (circa 1785)

Auctori Plebis token: 1787

Mott Store Cards: 1789

Standish Barry Threepence: 1790

Albany Church Pennies: (1790)

Kentucky Tokens: 1792-1794

Franklin Press Tokens: 1794

Talbot, Allum & Lee Cents: 1794

Myddelton Tokens: 1796

Copper Company of Upper Canada Tokens: 1796

Castorland Medals: 1796

Theatre at New York Tokens: circa 1797

New Spain (Texas) Jola Tokens: 1818

Northwest Company Tokens: 1820


p. Washington pieces


Georgivs Triumpho: 1783

Washington Portrait Pieces: 1783-1792

Getz Patterns: 1792-1795      

Liberty & Security Tokens: 1795

North Wales ½ Pennies: 1795

Success Medals: mid 19th century


3. Federal Issues


a. Continental Dollars: 1776


b. Nova Constellatio Patterns: 1783


c. Fugio Cents: 1787, sold an 18U in VF to Tom Rinaldo for 600.00.


Of the many series of coins depicted in the Redbook, The Colonial and Pre-Federal coinage is highly desirable and therefore widely collected.  This was not always the case.  As shown in the Guttag Brother’s catalog of 1924, most of these pieces were shown little respect and therefore the premiums paid even for fully un-circulated pieces were minimal.  The rise in popularity of this series has been among the most consistent and profitable of any series of US related coins.  Many New Jersey or Connecticut coppers that could be had for a pittance from the 1920’s to the 1950’s are today selling for 100 times their cost, and these for the lowest grade examples.


Many extremely rare varieties among the various series of Colonial and Post Colonial coins went un-recognized in the early 20th century.  It is not unusual to find many of these rarities, even in low grade, selling today for more than 1000 times their original values.  This has been due in part to inflation but in greater measure due to the great increase in scholarly work on each of the series that has taken place in the last 80 years.  This scholarly work has revealed to the collecting community the desirability of these rare items with the resulting dramatic increases in price.


Through research, scholars have placed these pieces in their historical context and determined where they were struck and by whom.  In addition they have gained insight into the political and social events that prompted the coining of these items in the first instance.  This has given the coins a new measure of respect.


Making this knowledge available has increased the interest by the public for what was once a forgotten or little examined area of collecting.  The result has been an exponential increase in the number of collectors for these coins. 


Bargains, despite all the information that is available, are still to be had by the sharp eyed collector.  Specializing helps to focus your attention and is likely to make finding those bargains easier.  Chose a series like Machin’s Mills, New Jerseys, Vermonts or Connecticuts, for example, and study up.  The rewards both monetarily and intellectually could be great.  Good hunting.


Below, find an abbreviated listing of printed works that are in part responsible for the wide interest in the Colonial and Post Colonial coins.  


1.  ANS—A survey of Numismatic Research, 1966-1973


2.  ANS—Studies on the Money of Early America


3.  ANS—America’s Copper Coinage, 1783-1857


4.  ANS Money of Pre-Federal America


5.  Bill Anton & Bruce Kesse—The Forgotten Coins of the North American Colonies


6.  C. Wyllys Betts—American Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals


7.  Walter H. Breen—Complete Encyclopedia of US & Colonial Coins


8.  Sylvester S. Crosby—The Early Coins of America


9.  George & Melvin Fuld—The Talbot, Allum & Lee Cents


10.  Bruce Kesse—The State Coinage of New Jersey


11.  Alan Kessler—The Fugio Cents


12.  Dr. Edward Maris—The Coins of New Jersey


13.  Henry Miller—The State Coinage of Connecticut


14.  Phillip Mossman—Money of the American Colonies & Confederation…


15.  Phillip Nelson—The Coinage of William Wood


16.  Eric P. Newman—The 1776 Continental Currency Coinage/Varieties of the Fugio Cent


17.  Eric P. Newman—The Coinage For Colonial Virginia


18.  Sydney P. Noe—The Silver Coinage of Massachusetts: NE & Willow Tree, Oak

       Tree & Pine Tree Coinages


19.  Michael Packard—Attributing Massachusetts Copper Coins


20.  John Richardson—Copper Coins of Vermont


21.  Tony Carlotto—Copper Coins of Vermont


22.  Russell Rulau—Medallic Portraits of Washington


23.  Hillyer Ryder—Copper Coinage of Massachusetts


24.  Q. David Bowers—Colonial & Early American Coins